Monday, September 14, 2015

Announcement: 2015 Fall Field Conference of the Far West Section, National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Hunting for fossils near Sharktooth Hill east of Bakersfield
2015 Fall Field Conference of the Far West Section
National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Sediments, Oil, and Fossils in the Southern San Joaquin Valley
October 16-18, 2015
Hosted by California State University, Bakersfield
Dirk Baron and Rob Negrini, CSU Bakersfield
Tim Elam, Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

We invite all teachers, professors, students, and friends of the earth and geological sciences to attend the 2015 Fall Conference of the Far West Section of the NAGT on October 16 – 18, 2015 based in Bakersfield, California. Check the conference website after Labor Day for latest updates and complete details.

Southern San Joaquin Valley of California
Join us to explore a region that offers interesting geology, a World-class fossil location, and provides employment to many geoscientists. The Field Conference will be based at the California State University, Bakersfield and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History in downtown Bakersfield. The best place to camp in the area is the Kern River Campground near Lake Ming east of Bakersfield. Sites cannot be reserved but should be available on Fridays in October. Alternatives a little farther afield are several campgrounds along the Kern River in the Kern Canyon. Bakersfield has many hotels in all price ranges. Homewood Suites are located within walking distance of the campus; the historic and recently renovated Padre Hotel is a good (but somewhat expensive) choice with great ambiance downtown within walking distance of the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History. 

We hope to see you in Bakersfield!

For more information, contact:
Sponsor: California State University, Bakersfield, Department of Geological Sciences
Coordinator: Dirk Baron, Geological Sciences, CSU Bakersfield;; 661-654-3044
Conference Website:

 See below the fold for more details

Tentative Schedule

Friday, October 16, 2015

4:00-7:00 pm
Registration, light refreshments, and socializing
CSU Bakersfield
7:00-8:00 pm
Section business meeting
CSU Bakersfield

Saturday, October 17, 2015

7:00-8:00 am
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Field Trips
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History; CSU Bakersfield
5:00-6:00 pm
Hors d' oeuvres; socialize; explore museum
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, to be confirmed
6:00-9:00 pm
Dinner banquet and evening presentation
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History, to be confirmed

Saturday Field Trips:

Trip 1: Paleontology and Geology of the Miocene Round Mountain Silt Bonebed at Sharktooth Hill This field trip examines the geologic genesis and paleontologic significance of fossil-rich sediment of the middle Miocene Round Mountain Silt Bonebed, which outcrops near Bakersfield, Ca. Over 140 species of fauna have been found in the Bonebed, which is the most prolific middle Miocene marine vertebrate fossil location in the world. At Buena Vista Museum of Natural History and Science in Bakersfield, field trip participants will be introduced to the Bonebed by viewing fossils of marine creatures such as whales, sea lions, dolphins, sharks, etc., as well as rare terrestrial fossils of deer, camels, and other large mammals. A Museum presentation will then cover 1) history of paleontologic study at Sharktooth Hill, 2) stratigraphy, sedimentology, and structure of Round Mountain Silt outcrops, and 3) recent dating techniques used on the Bonebed at Sharktooth Hill. Participants will then be transported to the Ernst Quarries northeast of Bakersfield. There they will dig for shark teeth and other Round Mountain Silt fossils, which they can take home. Participants will receive a field trip guidebook plus a fossil identification booklet they can use while unearthing treasures. Monitoring will be done by Buena Vista Museum personnel.

Trip 2: Outcrops of the West Side of the Southern San Joaquin Valley Trip will explore outcrops of major San Joaquin Valley Formations, tar seeps, and the history of oil in the region.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

8:00 am-12:00 pm
Field Trips/Workshop
CSU Bakersfield

Sunday Workshop and Field Trips:

Workshop 1 –  California Well Sample Repository The repository is the only facility in California providing permanent storage and public use of cores, sidewall samples, drill cuttings, outcrop samples, microfaunal slides, foundation borings, and mineral suites. Cores, ditch samples, and sidewall samples from more than 6,000 exploration and development, oil and gas wells located throughout onshore and offshore California, as well as microscope slides processed for microfauna from over 2,000 wells and outcrop localities are in the  collection.

Workshop 2 – High school dual-credit honors geology courses as a tool for recruiting students into college geoscience majors. The Kern High School District and CSU Bakersfield have partnered to offer a rigorous physical geology class for high school seniors. The opportunity to earn college credit attracts top college-bound students, introduces them to the field and is a recruiting opportunity for CSUB. This workshop is intended for teachers and community college and university professors interested in implementing a similar program.  

Trip 3:  Wind Wolves Preserve The 93,000 ac. Wildlands Conservancy preserve is an ecologically unique region where the Transverse Ranges, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, western Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley converge. Due to elevation ranging from 640 to 6,005 feet, the preserve has an impressive array of landforms and habitats that serve as a critical landscape linkage and wildlife corridor between the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada. The trip is intended as an introduction to the opportunities for geologist in the preserve. The location of the preserve makes this a convenient option for those driving back to the LA area.

For registration form, directions, local accommodations, relevant links, and information updates, please check the conference website at: . It will be updated regularly after Labor Day.

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